James Johnson hit the tiebreaking free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining as the host Brooklyn Nets blew a 16-point lead, survived a wild fourth quarter and outlasted the New York Knicks for a 112-110 victory in front of a raucous crowd Tuesday night.
The game was tied at 110-110 after New York’s Evan Fournier hit a 3-pointer over Bruce Brown with 17 seconds left. Brooklyn used its last timeout to advance the ball, and James Harden inbounded the ball to Kevin Durant.
Durant held the ball for a few seconds, took about five dribbles and moved to his left near midcourt. After encountering a double-team, he passed to Johnson, who was fouled by Mitchell Robinson and then calmly sank the foul shots.
New York had one more chance, but Fournier’s 44-foot 3-point try as time expired clanked off the front of the rim.
Johnson’s free throws gave Brooklyn its fifth win in six games and capped a final quarter that featured 10 lead changes.
Harden scored 28 of his 34 points in the first half to lead all scorers and Durant scored 11 of his 27 in the fourth quarter. Durant hit two free throws to give Brooklyn a 109-107 lead with 27.5 seconds before Fournier’s 3-pointer.
Alec Burks led the Knicks with 25 points and Julius Randle added 24 for New York, which shot 48.4 percent. Derrick Rose contributed 16 points and Fournier contributed 13.
Harden scored 15 points as the Nets overcame an eight-point deficit and ended the first quarter with a 33-28 lead. Harden surpassed 20 points with two free throws to give Brooklyn a 43-36 lead with 8:48 left in the first half and Brooklyn held a 45-36 lead on a layup by Johnson on its next possession.
The Knicks held a 61-60 lead at intermission after Harden canned a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left. Brooklyn scored the first 14 points of the third and held an 84-68 lead on a jumper by Cam Thomas with 4:07 remaining before settling for an 88-84 lead going into the fourth.
The Knicks regained the lead when Immanuel Quickley’s 28-foot 3-pointer made it 92-90 with 8:54 left. After three lead changes, the Knicks took a 98-95 lead on Obi Toppin’s dunk with 6:29 left.
New York held a 105-103 lead on Burks’ open 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining but Patty Mills hit a layup as the shot clock expired and Durant drained an 18-footer with 97 seconds left for a 107-105 lead.
–Field Level Media